DAILY TIP DEC 21 2011
One of the hardest things to have control over during Christmas is the screaming, running and generally 'hopped up on sugar' children. Here are a few 'life saving' tips to get over Christmas dinner without too much added stress.
- Make up little activity gift bags for each child attending dinner. A visit to your local 'Dollar Store' and you are all set. Little games, puzzle books, coloring books, crayons, stickers, story books. (Age appropriate, keeping in mind any really young children around)
- Christmas Crackers. These are great for using as place settings. Tie a balloon to each cracker along with a name tag for each child. They can all open their crackers, once everyone is quiet at the table.
- Separate time for eating. This one can be tricky. Large dinners can be hard enough, but making a special time for the kids can be problematic. My suggestion is to do a 'buffet' style dinner and have all the kids get their food 15 mins before the adults. That way they are already eating, while everyone else is getting their food. It also allows them to finish first and run off to another room to play with toys, etc while the grown-ups finish dinner.
- Fresh Air. If the weather is permitting, before all the guests arrive. Head outside to your backyard, frontyard (if you have them) and 'gently' hide some Christmas props. Pine cones, ornaments (plastic or wooden ones), garland, bows, etc. Then print up a 'Scavenger Hunt' list and have all the children do a holiday hunt. The older kids can help out the younger ones with reading, colors, math and the fresh air will tire them all out! If you live in a condo or apartment building. This one is a little tougher. You can do it in a spare room and just make the hiding spots a little more interesting. (laundry hampers, shoe boxes, drawers, closets etc).
- Have emergency food rations. It never fails, there will be one or two children that decide to make a fuss about Christmas dinner and not wanting to eat 'that'. Prepare ahead a quick mac n cheese, hot dogs that you can just pop in the microwave to reheat and serve. Trust me, this one you'll thank me for.
- Borrow or rent a gaming system. If you don't own a gaming system like 'Xbox' or 'Wii'. See if any of your guests would mind bringing theirs over ahead of dinner. You can hook it up on a spare television and it will keep them occupied! (if you rent one, be sure to rent all age games that way you don't have to worry about the younger ones seeing any violent games).
- Rent [or borrow]a Karaoke machine. Check your local Party supply store. Renting a machine is relatively inexpensive and easy to set up. It's a great way to get everyone involved and the laughter from watching 'Uncle Joe' singing 'Bieber' will keep all the kids entertained.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. These ideas work great for Kwanzaa and Channukah celebrations as well. *dreidel contests work well* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQL55Y2v5Ng&feature=related
The countdown continues.....